The Silence of the Lambs script
Synopsis: Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.

FADE IN:

INT. GRUBBY HOTEL CORRIDOR - DAY (DIMLY LIT)

A woman's face BACKS INTO SHOT, her head resting against

grimy wallpaper. She is tense, sweaty, wide-eyed with

concentration. This is CLARICE STARLING, mid-20's, trim,

very pretty. She wears Kevlar body armor over a navy

windbreaker, khaki pants. Her thick hair is piled under a

navy baseball cap. A revolver, clutched in her right hand,

hovers by her ear. She raises a speedloader, in her left

hand, locks it into her cylinder, twists and reloads.

CLOSE ON:

A guest room door, with a small, wired pack attached to its

knob. Suddenly, wish a sharp CRACK!, the knob explodes, and

the door bursts open.

WITH CLARICE - MOVING SHOT

as she runs around a corner, through a cloud of smoke. She

shoulders aside the shattered door and rushes inside, gun at

the ready in both hands...

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

CLARICE'S POV - MOVING - as she first sees, sitting on the

edge of a bed - a FEMALE HOSTAGE. Black, late 20's, gagged,

hands behind her back. Then, SWIVELLING... she sees a startled

MALE SUSPECT, white, mid-20's, standing by a window with a

rifle in his hands. He is turning towards her...

Clarice drops into a combat crouch, gun extended, and shouts.

CLARICE:

Freeze! FBI!

CLARICE'S POV - SLOW MOTION

all natural SOUND suspended - as the Suspect faces her with

a strange, pleading expression. The rifle is rising in his

hands, but oddly enough, it is held across his chest, not

pointing. Then another puzzling detail registers...

THE SUSPECT'S HANDS

are taped to his gun, away from the trigger; he couldn't use

it even if he tried. Suddenly we hear a metallic CLICK, which

registers with unnatural amplification, as - Clarice reacts,

drops to the floor, rolling sideways, and -

THE "HOSTAGE"

pulls a revolver out from behind her back, still in SLOW

MOTION, raising it in her untied hands. She fires repeatedly,

flames leaping from the muzzle; the SOUND is an echoing roar

in these close quarters, but -

Clarice has come up on one knee, beside an armchair, and is

already firing back herself, two quick SHOTS, which send -

THE "HOSTAGE"

pitching over the bed, backwards, to shudder and lie still

in a haze of gunsmoke. Clarice rushes to her, clamping one

knee down on her gun hand, still keeping her covered in case

of movement. HOLD for a few beats... then we hear the shrill

blast of a WHISTLE from somewhere, off screen, as normal

ACTION and SOUND are restored.

BRIGHAM (O.S.)

Okay, people, good exercise...

Clarice relaxes, lowering her gun. The lights brighten.

PULLING BACK:

we see that we're in some sort of auditorium, with the "hotel

room" and its "corridor" built as a training set. JOHN BRIGHAM

walks onto this set, thumbing a stopwatch. Mid-40's, ex-

Marine. His T-shirt's lettering says "Firearms Instructor /

FBI Academy."

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Ted Tally

Ted Tally (born April 9, 1952) is an American playwright and screenwriter. A graduate of Yale, he has received awards including the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, the Writers Guild of America Award, the Chicago Film Critics Award, and the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. more…

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"The Silence of the Lambs" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 12 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_silence_of_the_lambs_94>.

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